Saturday, March 20, 2010

All that is needed at this time is public Arab support

by Daoud Kuttab
"For all the theatrics and histrionics within the Arab League's Cairo headquarters, Arab governments are unlikely to have any influence on Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Like all regional organizations, the League of Arab States is inefficient as a collective body, and individual countries such as Saudi Arabia or Egypt wield more power than the 22-member league. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, the Palestinian cause remains the most discussed topic in the League.

So inefficient is the Arab League that American and Israeli officials were taken aback months ago when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on getting the green light from his fellow Arab leaders before risking yet another round of talks, this time with a far right-wing Israeli government. Abbas knows, as does almost everyone, that such a green light means very little in practical terms."

Anti-Semitism: Zionism's Indispensable Alibi

"Although Zionism typically represents itself as the solution to anti-Semitism, the truth is less flattering. In fact, hostility toward Jews is indispensable to the cause of Jewish nationalism. If anti-Semitism didn’t exist, Zionists would have to invent it. And in many cases that is precisely what they have done.

Contrary to the widespread perception that Zionism opposes anti-Semitism, its adherents have occasionally revealed a more ambivalent attitude to Jew-hatred. In 1895, Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, prophetically wrote in his Diaries, “Anti-Semites will become our surest friends, anti-Semitic countries our allies.” Even the suffering inflicted on European Jewry by the Nazi holocaust doesn’t seem to have unduly tempered such cynicism. In 1995, Jay Lefkowitz, an American government official, told the New York Times Magazine, “Deep down, I believe that a little anti-Semitism is a good thing for the Jews--reminds them who they are.”"

Finkelstein as you've never seen him..Confronting Zionist hecklers show of tears at Waterloo university

Dr Norman Finkelstein's appearance at the University of Waterloo was a combative one with lots of heckling and cheering throughout the speech. As we've come to expect, he delivered a blistering message on Israel that was the polar opposite of the mainstream mantra

And when an audience member tried to guilt him with a show of tears because he used the "Nazi" word, Finklestein would have none of it. He dismissed her emotional outburst as "crocodile tears.

If you have never seen what Zionism as a pathology does to people, watch the woman at the front..

Rachel Corrie's killing: Investigator Admits Failures in the Military Investigation( Basically, they haven't investigated much!)

An Israeli military police investigator, who was part of the team that investigated Rachel’s killing, testified today. In his testimony he stated that:

•He never inspected the site where the killing occurred; nor did he ever sit inside the D9 bulldozer to see for himself the view the driver had and what the field of vision was.

•He admitted that the Israeli military’s D9 bulldozer regulations state that the D9s should not be operated with civilians in close proximity. He failed to question the bulldozer driver about these regulations or make them part of the military police investigation file.

•He received a court order authorizing Rachel’s autopsy under the condition that an official from the U.S. Embassy be present, and at the time informed the court that the condition would be upheld. Subsequently, he made no effort to ensure that this condition was upheld, nor does he know if anyone else did, stating he did not consider the follow-up his responsibility. He also failed to forward the final autopsy report to the court, even though this was required, stating that his commander did not require him to do so and that he simply “did not pay attention” to the court order. Dr. Hiss ultimately performed the autopsy without an American Embassy official present.

•To his knowledge, no ISM member was arrested the afternoon of March 16 for interfering with Israeli military activities. American eyewitness Gregory Schnabel, the fourth and last eye-witness called to testify, also testified today, providing his account of the killing of Ms. Corrie. Gregory testified that he saw Rachel climb to the top of the pile of dirt being pushed by the bulldozer and that she was visible to the driver. He also testified that a bulldozer had come close to himself and another ISM member that afternoon, stopping just short of hitting them, which led him to believe that the demonstrators were visible to the driver.
In other words their "investigation" was all theatrics!

ISM volunteer shot, hospitalized; ISM co-founder arrested


"Friday’s demonstration in An Nabi Saleh saw an increase in violence and collective punishment from the Israeli military, as twenty-five demonstrators were injured, windows of cars and homes were intentionally shattered, and three were arrested. ISM volunteer Ellen Stark was shot at point blank range (4 meters) with a rubber bullet as she stood with medics, Popular Committee members and other internationals. ISM co-founder Huwaida Arraf was arrested while negotiating with the IOF to allow Ellen through the military line to get to the hospital. According to Ellen, “we were standing on Palestinian land, in support of the village who’s land has been confiscated but we weren’t even demonstrating yet. We were standing with medics who were also shot with tear gas.”

Ellen’s had to undergo surgery to remove the bullet, which was lodged between her ulna and radius of her right arm. Her wrist is broken as a result of the bullet impact. As of 12:00 pm Saturday, Palestine time, Huwaida has yet to be located in the Israeli prison system......"

Al-Jazeera Video: Riz Khan - The Arab 'blogosphere'

"With around 35,000 active websites making up the Arab 'blogosphere', internet users in the Middle East have found new forms of expression, networking, and mobilisation online."

As things get worse in Pakistan, the optimism continues to soar

Civilians have paid the price in revenge attacks that usually target the army

By Robert Fisk

".....But what does la Clinton do? Not appreciating that Biden and she and Obama have been treated by the Israelis with the contempt they deserve, she rants on the phone to Netanyahu about the "affront" and the "insult" of the timing of the announcement. But this is preposterous.

The affront and the insult were not caused to la Clinton or Obama. So self-regarding is this wretched woman that she could not grasp that the real affront and insult were being endured by the Palestinians – who are again being driven from their homes and dispossessed so that Netanyahu's Israeli colonists can move further into east Jerusalem. La Clinton should have asked Netanyahu how he could inflict such punishment on innocent Palestinians – but she thought that she and Obama were the victims....."

Iraq's delayed democracy

Far from a triumph, Iraq's national elections have created a constitutional and leadership vacuum as sectarianism prevails

Fawaz Gerges, Friday 19 March 2010

"Although Iraq's second parliamentary elections since the US-led invasion represent a milestone, they will neither resolve the country's existential crisis nor bring it closer to genuine democracy. Results released by the inept Independent High Electoral Commission show little change in political attitudes and loyalties. On the whole, Iraqis did not vote according to party or ideology. Sect, ethnicity, and tribe trumpeted other loyalties, including the nation......."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

The Arab League Scarecrow

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question asked in this new poll is:

After 1000 days have based, with Gaza still under siege, who is responsible for the siege?

With over 1,500 responding so far, here is the breakdown:

Hamas is responsible.............10%
The PA is responsible............30%
Arab countries are responsible....60%

Friday, March 19, 2010

Public Opinion Shifts On U.S. Relationship With Israel

Youtube poster Media Matters Action Network says that Wolf Blitzer was "surprised" by Jack Cafferty’s viewer criticisms of Israel, and this is the case. Cafferty takes an atypically-sober tone, cautiously criticizing the Israel-US special relationship, suggesting that we should "start cutting back on the approximately 2.5 billion in aid we give to Israel every year…." and quoting Maureen Dowd saying that the White House is "appalled by Israel’s self-absorption." Then he polls viewers. The letters Cafferty reads are critical of Israel, 6-1. The 1 is repulsive: " We should be helping Israel occupy as much Arab land as possible" "You got a lot of emails?" Blitzer asks. "And most of it was anti-Israel, you would say?"

Cafferty then says this was a helluva way to treat Biden, the 1600 new settlements. Blitzer agrees: "I think a lot of people were very, very upset about it, including by the way in Israel." The former Jerusalem Post reporter, playing the role of Israel apologist, to the end.
(via Mondoweiss)
Note: Wolf Blitzer the host is an AIPAC agent. Here from Wikipedia:
"Sometime in the mid-1970s, Blitzer also worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as the editor of their monthly in house publication, the Near East Report. While at AIPAC, Blitzer's journalism focused on Middle East affairs as it relates to United States foreign policy.

Abbas Ordered to Rest for A Few Days after Falling; Too Bad, His Back was Not Broken.


"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that doctors ordered him to rest after a fall left him with a bruised back. Abbas was taken to a hospital in Amman, Jordan, for X-rays, which showed no broken bones. The Palestinian leader has a home in Amman in addition to the one he has in the West Bank, and frequently stays in the Jordanian capital during layovers on trips in and out of the Palestinian territory...."

Protest the US' silencing of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer

Action alert, Haymarket Books, 19 March 2010

"Effectively canceling a planned speaking tour, the US consulate in the Netherlands has put an extended hold on the visa application of award-winning Palestinian journalist and photographer Mohammed Omer, scheduled to speak on conditions in Palestine, on 5 April in Chicago...."

Why Are the Arabs Apathetic?

A Short Comment
By Tony Sayegh

These questions keeps arising: why are the Arabs so apathetic and quiescent? Why is the whole world changing except in Arab countries? Why are the only absolute monarchs and dictators Arabs? Why do we find a young American woman, growing up in Olympia, Washington motivated enough to leave a comfortable life to go and join the ISM and try to protect a Palestinian home in Rafah, and in the process get crushed to death by an IOF bulldozer, while countless similar Arab youth would not even think of doing the same?

This is one quick and partial explanation, in my humble opinion.

I am not a behavioral scientist by training, but I know a little bit about what motivates human beings. Abraham Maslow (I think in 1943) defined a hierarchy of motivators, in a pyramid form.

At the lowest level, what motivates people is simple survival: food, shelter, etc.

Next comes safety: security of body, family, property, employment, etc.

And up the pyramid it goes. At higher levels, humans are motivated by power and wealth to control others.

Finally, at the highest levels we are motivated by esteem and self-actualization: confidence, respect of and by others, creativity, self-sacrifice for others, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts, etc.

I think that one explanation is that perhaps 80-90% of Arabs today are at or near the two lowest levels. Another 5% or so, are at the level of exercising power (military, police, or financial) over others.

Finally, less than 1% may have reached the highest level, and many of those have already left to other countries, where they can exercise their freedom, creativity and self-actualization.

I know that this is not a full explanation, but I hope that it sheds some light on this important subject.

I would like to read your comments.

UC Berkeley student senate votes in favor of divestment

Dina Omar, The Electronic Intifada, 19 March 2010

"Early yesterday morning, the University of California Berkeley Student Senate (ASUC) passed a bill to divest from companies that provide military support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Debate began the night before at 9:00pm and ended and six hours later when the vote was held at 3:00am. The session was attended by more than 150 students, educators and concerned community supporters, forcing the meeting to be relocated to a larger room. Never before has the senate chambers been so overcrowded, signifying the importance and interest in the issue of Israel-Palestine on the Berkeley campus. Ultimately, the bill passed with 16 senators in favor and 4 against....."

Israel attack on Iran could ignite Middle East: Hezbollah

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Violence could spread across the Middle East with Israel paying a "heavy price" if it launched military action against Iran, the deputy leader of Hezbollah said on Thursday.

Israel sees Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its existence and has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to curb the Islamic Republic's atomic work.

The United States and other western powers suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon and are currently discussing the imposition of new economic sanctions against Tehran.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity.

"Israel or the United States cannot just bomb Iran and (expect) things to continue normally," Sheikh Naim Kassem told Reuters. "Any attack on Iran could ignite the whole region and the assailant will pay a heavy price whether its Israel or the United States."

The Arabs' "Strategic" (and Only) Choice, by Emad Hajjaj

"My Fellow Americans, Tonight I'm Going to Talk Frankly About a Pesky Little Nation Called Israel ... "


"Don’t get excited. It’ll never happen. Is there really a crisis in US-Israeli relations? Yes and No. Yes, because the world’s premier power doesn’t care to have its vice president publicly humiliated by a midget of a nation whose entire population is smaller than that of Los Angeles country. No, because the elected politicians nominally running the government of the world’s premier power live in mortal fear of the Israel lobby in the United States. This time, as always, No will carry the day. (You can find a detailed narrative by Jeffrey Blankfort on this site today, from which much of this Diary is drawn.) ......

So yes, the crisis will soon be over, and no, there is no new era in US-Israel relations in the offing. "

Al-Jazeera Video: Putting a price on Afghan life

"What is the price of a human life?

In Afghanistan, if foreign troops kill an innocent civilian by accident, families may receive compensations of around $2,500.

But there is no fixed system for compensation - something that Stanley McChrystal, the top US general in Afghanistan, is now calling for.

But many bereaved families aren't convinced that money will heal deep wounds.

Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid reports from Kabul - where civilian casualties are rising. "

All that remains of Umm al Shuqaf, a village in Palestine, destroyed and ethnic cleansed

As I mentioned earlier in a comment, I'll be documenting, one bit at a time, the destruction, the ethnic cleansing, the massacres, the judaisation, the memoricide and the urbicide of Palestine..Tens of thousands of photographs, hundreds of videos are available out there..It's the duty of memory that compells me to go ahead and proceed and I will..My sources are varied but the most comprehensive site is Palestine Remembered..Many thanks to them. TGIA

Lest we forget: US govt opposed #BDS against apartheid South Africa as it does against apartheid Israel

By Ali Abunimah

Department of State Bulletin

August 1, 1988

The potential impact of imposing sanctions against South Africa.;

John C. Whitehead statement; transcript
SECTION: Pg. p58(5) Vol. V88 No. N2137 ISSN: 0041-7610

LENGTH: 5215 words

Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 22, 1988. Mr. Whitehead is Deputy Secretary of State..sup.1
"Thank you for this opportunity to present the Administration's views on Senate Bill 2378, the amendments to the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. If enacted, this legislation could have important consequences for the future of American diplomacy in South Africa and in the southern Africa region. For reasons I hope to make clear in my testimony, the Administration strongly opposes Senate Bill 2378. American interests are not served by legislation which requires that we experiment in the economic destabilization of South Africa without genuine prospects of contributing to the solution of that country's problems......"

Taking Sides

Israel (and the lobby) against the US

By John Mearsheimer
London Review

"......The crisis will undoubtedly simmer down over the next few weeks. We are already hearing lots of reassuring rhetoric from the administration and Capitol Hill about ‘shared values’, ‘unbreakable bonds’ and the other supposed virtues of the special relationship. And the lobby is hard at work downplaying the importance of the crisis. For example, Congressman Gary Ackerman, a fervent supporter of Israel, described recent events as a ‘mini-crisis, if even that’. Michael Oren is now denying – rather late in the game I might add – that he ever said that relations between Israel and the United States are at a 35-year low. He claims to have been ‘flagrantly misquoted’. And to show how Orwellian the lobby can be, Israel’s supporters are also trying to make the case that Biden too was flagrantly misquoted and indeed, he never told Netanyahu that Israel’s policies were putting American troops at risk.

This concerted effort to rewrite history and generate lots of happy talk about the special relationship will surely help ameliorate the present crisis, but that will only be a temporary fix. There will be more crises ahead, because a two-state solution is probably impossible at this point and ‘greater Israel’ is going to end up an apartheid state. The United States cannot support that outcome, however, partly for the strategic reasons that have been exposed by the present crisis, but also because apartheid is a morally reprehensible system that no decent American could openly embrace. Given its core values, how could the United States sustain a special relationship with an apartheid state? In short, America’s remarkably close relationship with Israel is now in trouble and this situation will only get worse."

Quartet calls for Palestinian state within two years

The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators on Friday called on Israel and the Palestinians to relaunch peace negotiations in order to achieve a two-state solution within 24 months.

"The Quartet believes these negotiations should lead to a settlement, negotiated between the parties within 24 months, that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and results in the emergence of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors," said a joint statement read by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"The Quartet reiterates that Arab-Israeli peace and the establishment of a peaceful state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza is in the fundamental interest of the parties, of all states in the region, and of the international community," said the statement. "In this regard the Quartet calls on all states to support dialogues between the parties."

The Quartet, which comprises members Russia, the United States, the UN and the European Union, was meeting in Moscow in an effort defuse the latest crisis in peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians."

Follow That Story!

My favorite dropped narratives

by Justin Raimondo, March 19, 2010

"......My own favorite is the mystery of the Niger uranium forgeries [.pdf]. Remember that? President Bush’s infamous “sixteen words,” which loomed so large in the headlines at one point, have faded with the years, and yet the mystery lingers on. Who fed the White House “intelligence” based on crude forgeries, which imputed that the Iraqis had tried to buy uranium from the African country of Niger in an effort to construct a nuclear weapon?

The forgeries, which somehow made it onto the President’s desk embedded in a State of the Union speech, were so crude and obvious that it took IAEA scientists but a few hours to debunk them. So how did something so obviously fraudulent get injected into the US intelligence stream in the first place – and by whom? .......

The Niger forgeries were pretty clearly part of a highly successful effort to lie us into war, and the lies, in this case, did not originate with the White House – which was sorely embarrassed by the exposure of the fraud. Quite obviously the perpetrators didn’t care about that. So whodunit? We still don’t know.

My second favorite unsolved mystery is l’affaire Chalabi – the counterintelligence investigation into the double-and –triple-dealing Ahmed Chalabi, neocon hero and convicted embezzler. It was Chalabi’s group of Iraqi exiles, the Iraqi National Congress, that later dubbed themselves “heroes in error” for having fed the US government and the New York Times reams of lies about Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” (and were paidby the US taxpayers to do so).

Hailed by the neocons as the George Washington of “liberated” Iraq, Chalabi enjoyed access to top US government officials and was portrayed in the media as a staunch US ally, a veritable model of the kind of Arab leader that would emerge on the heels on George W. Bush’s “global democratic revolution.”.....

Today, Chalabi is riding high, having aligned himself with the ruling party in Iraq: the hero of the neocons is now an open Iranian agent. He played a key role in disqualifying mainly Sunni parties in the Iraqi elections, and his connections with militant Shi’ites are extensive. The question is: who in the Bush administration, among Chalabi’s many admirers and promoters, gave him access to the tightly-held highly sensitive information that the US had broken the Iranian code? If Chalabi is guilty – and he is – then he’s not alone, but who in our government – and it would’ve had to have been fairly high up – helped him betray the US? We still don’t know the answer to that question....."

The mysterious case of the Grey Lady of Bagram

How does a neuroscientist and mother of three end up in jail as an al-Qa'ida agent?

By Robert Fisk

".....Dr Faruqi is Aafia Siddiqui's uncle and he produces a photograph of his niece at the age of 13, picnicking in the Margalla hills above Islamabad, a smiling girl in a yellow shalwar khameez, half-leaning against a tree. She does not look like the stuff of which al-Qa'ida operatives are made. Yet she is now a semi-icon in Pakistan, a country which may well have been involved in her original kidnapping and which now oh-so-desperately wants her back from an American prison. Her children, weirdly, disconcertingly, have been forgotten.

Aafia Siddiqui's story is now as famous in Pakistan as it is notorious in a New York City courtroom where her trial for trying to kill an American soldier in the Afghan city of Ghazni in 2008 – she was convicted this month and faces a minimum of 20 years in prison on just one of the charges against her – is regarded as a symbol of American injustice.....

And the children? Rarely written about in Pakistan, they, too, in a sense, were "disappeared" from the story – until the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, paid an uneasy visit to Pakistan this week and, according to Fauzia, told the Interior minister, Rehman Malik, that "the children of Aafia Siddiqui will be sent home soon". Was Karzai referring to the other two children? Or to all three, including the "real" Ahmed? And if Aafia's two/three children are in Afghanistan, where have they been kept? In an orphanage? In a prison? And who kept them? The Afghans? The Americans?"

The Pope, the Prophet, and the religious support for evil

This enforced 'respect' is a creeping vine: it soon extends from ideas to institutions

A Good Comment
By Johann Hari

"What can make tens of millions of people – who are in their daily lives peaceful and compassionate and caring – suddenly want to physically dismember a man for drawing a cartoon, or make excuses for an international criminal conspiracy to protect child-rapists? Not reason. Not evidence. No. But it can happen when people choose their polar opposite – religion. In the past week we have seen two examples of how people can begin to behave in bizarre ways when they decide it is a good thing to abandon any commitment to fact and instead act on faith. It has led some to regard people accused of the attempted murders of the Mohamed cartoonists as victims, and to demand "respect" for the Pope, when he should be in a police station being quizzed about his role in covering up and thereby enabling the rape of children.

In 2005, 12 men in a small secular European democracy decided to draw a quasi-mythical figure who has been dead for 1400 years. They were trying to make a point. They knew that in many Muslim cultures, it is considered offensive to draw Mohamed. But they have a culture too – a European culture that believes it is important to be allowed to mock and tease and ridicule religion.....

Yes, I understand some people feel sad when they see a figure they were taught as a child to revere – whether Prophet or Pope – being subjected to rational examination, or mockery, or criminal investigation. But everyone has ideas they hold precious. Only you, the religious, demand to be protected from debate or scrutiny that might discomfort you. The fact you believe an invisible supernatural being approves of – or even commands – your behaviour doesn't mean it deserves more respect, or sensitive handling. It means it deserves less. If you base your behaviour on such a preposterous fantasy, you should expect to be checked by criticism and mockery. You need it.

If you can't bear to hear your religious figures criticised – if you think Ratzinger is somehow above the law, or Mohamed should be defended with an axe – a sane society should have only one sentence for you. Tell it to the judge."

Obama blocks delivery of bunker-busters to Israel

WASHINGTON — The United States has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel.

Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel Air Force bases.
In 2008, the United States approved an Israeli request for bunker-busters capable of destroying underground facilities, including Iranian nuclear weapons sites. Officials said delivery of the weapons was held up by the administration of President Barack Obama.

Since taking office, Obama has refused to approve any major Israeli requests for U.S. weapons platforms or advanced systems. Officials said this included proposed Israeli procurement of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, refueling systems, advanced munitions and data on a stealth variant of the F-15E.

"All signs indicate that this will continue in 2010," a congressional source familiar with the Israeli military requests said. "This is really an embargo, but nobody talks about it publicly."
I saw some comments (by Israelis) on this bit of news and guess what? They're talking about a second Holocaust! Such a drama queens!

CNN: Public opinion shifts on U.S relationship with Israel

During the March 17th episode of The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer was surprised when Jack Cafferty reported on viewer attitudes of current Israeli-U.S. diplomatic crisis.

US Department of Justice Asked to Regulate AIPAC as a Foreign Agent of the Israeli Government

bendib (AIPAC)

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US Department of Justice has been formally asked to begin regulating the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as the foreign agent of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A 392 page legal filing presented by a four person IRmep delegation in a two hour meeting with top officials of the Internal Security Section substantiated the following case for AIPAC's immediate registration:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dear people of America..Give money to help us make the desert bloom!

Omar Barghouti: UC Berkeley Student Senate's vote for Israel divestment a "watershed" #BDS

By Ali Abunimah

(Left: Omar Barghouti)

"I received the following message and attached documents from Omar Barghouti, one of the key figures in the Palestinian campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel:

In a landslide, 16-4 vote, the University of California Student Senate passed the attached BDS motion endorsing divestment from companies profiting from Israel's occupation and violation of Palestinian rights. Also attached is the official press release of the sponsors of the bill.

Hampshire College, of course, was the first to divest from companies colluding in Israel's occupation, but this student senate vote at a university of the prominence of Berkeley may well be the watershed, the crossing of the threshold in the spread of BDS across the US that many of us have been waiting to see. This will be a significant step towards a UC-wide actual divestment from Israeli occupation and apartheid. The South Africa spirit is in the air ...

A warm salute to the UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine and all supporters of human rights and justice, individuals and organizations, who supported them to achieve this victory.>> Onwards!


Storm over Israeli settlements as unreal as the peace process

Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, 18 March 2010

".....So if for 43 years there has been continuous occupation accompanied with continuous settlement building while the international community was maintaining a deadly and a cowardly silence, why all the sudden noise over 1,600 additional housing units? It is neither the first project nor will it be the last. And notice that for all its complaints, the United States pointedly did not require Israel to cancel the project. It would never dare do that. Instead within a few days, the US will be pressuring the PA to return to futile negotiations while the settlement construction carries on.

Remember Jabal Abu Ghneim (see photo, left), the forested hill near Bethlehem that Netanyahu decided to build on in the 1990s against strenuous American and international objections that it would "destroy the peace process?" Today the trees are gone and in their place are only Israeli apartment buildings. But the fake, fraudulent "peace process" continues as if nothing happened. This theatrical storm will also slowly die down and the settlements construction will steadily keep up."

حين يكون الدين في :"صفِّ الجوع المنتفض

د. عادل سمارة
كنعان النشرة الألكترونية
Kana’an – The e-Bulletin
السنة العاشرة ـ العدد 2196
18 آذار (مارس) 2010

"هي الصفحة الأولى، الومضة الأولى، اللحظة الأولى؛ هل ننتظر نهاية الكتاب حتى نقرأها، أم نبادر بقرار ثقافوي قسريٍ للترهيب منها، بالتقوُّل الحرام وشق الجيوب على الشهداء، وهم موتى أحياءً.. فما الأشرف إذن! حتى مع الومضة السابقة للانفجار صرخ "العقلاء" بنفي وجفاء ومجافاة، بانها صدفية عفوية دون إعداد. فلا يجوز للفقراء مجرد الحلم من خارج أدمغة الحكماء. ولكن من أين للفقراء أناة من يرسمون الكلمات ميتة بليدة كتيمة مصمتة كالحصى ملسة باردة كالزجاج؟ من أين لهم أن يتأنوا كمن يرسم لوحة باليد. لكنهم أيها السادة يرسمون لوحة التاريخ. يُحرجون لغة الثقافة المتصالحة، والاحتفال بالنُصُب، ولصق النياشين، والصمت، والنوم الطويل العميق، والقلق الشحيح على المال والراتب والتقاعد والقيمة الزائدة لأصحاب الوجود الزائد عن المرحلة.
هي اللحظة تأتي على غفلة فتهزنا؛ هي الوطن، يكنس/تكنس من طريقها الأوطان المبتكرة من خطاب السفسطة اللغوية؛ "الوطن الرمز، ذاكرة الوطن، الوطن كذاكرة، الوطن في الحقيبة، ذاكرة الحقيبة، الوطن القصيدة...". تكنس الوطن المتغذي من الأنجزة ومال المانحين/اللصوص حقيقة، ليبقى بعد ذلك التراب والمحراث والأقدام المشققة والأصابع التي تلدغها أفعى التسوية ولا تتسمم!
إنها الحركة الاجتماعية، تغافلنا دون استشارة، وتلاحقنا قبل أن نلاحقها على الأقل لنفهمها، لا تنتظرنا كي نفهمها، ولو كنا قادرين لكنا نحن منها وفيها. هي عفو الخاطر، هي الانتفاض وليست الانقضاض، فالانقضاض للعسكر، والانتفاض للناس. هي روح الشعب، فحياتها بلا مادة، وديمومتها بلا سلاح، وانتصارها بتكرارها.
هل ستكون الانتفاضة الثالثة؟ ولِمَ لا؛ فلتنقصها أوامر القائد ذي النياشين ولا يعلن انطلاقتها بورزان الجيش؛ هي وحي الجيل المتفجر بالبحث عن لحظة حرية وكرامة. ومتى قاد الجنرال انتفاضة؟ فلماذا يُعتب على القيادة تأخرها وراء الناس، هذا العتب هو نواح الخوف من الآتي، والآتي للناس وليس للقشرة والنخبة؟ ينتمي هذا الخوف والقلق ولطم الخدود وشق الجيوب إلى هوامش المؤسسة، مهما بالغ في شتمها، هو إحدى زوائدها، تشريبة من تشريباتها (قطعة تضاف لأحذية الفقراء لأنهم لا يملكون ثمن أحذية جديدة).
ليست الانتفاضة صنعة مثقف متأرجح متلقلقٍ مثل زقِّ لبنٍ أخرج منه الزّبدْ. أو أكاديمي يقيس الثورات بعدد الكلمات ومواضع الفواصل والنقط. هي تراث الزنج وقرمط، وهي حرب غوار المدن نبيّها كارلوس مارجيللا. كان مثقفاً، لكن بلا رياش. هي استغاثة التراث ونداء المستقبل، هي عبق الإيمان الفطري. هي الرد على تقاسم الوطن مع العدو، وهي رفض اصحاب المساطر الثقافوية حيث كل خطوة بحساب. ليست فعل بخيل يؤمن بالعملة والدولة فينفق كي يربح لا كي يعيش، فما بالك أن يُطعِمْ!
حراك الناس هي، لا نعرف مبتداها ولا نعرف منتهاها، لكننا نعلم مبتغاها. لا حساب ولا محاسبة. ستسقط هذه شهيدة، وذاك جريحاً وتضيع أيام دراسية، وتحتر ق عربات وحوانيت ملأى بمنتجات الأعداء من المركز إلى أرض الإحتلال الأول ومستوطنات الإحتلال الثاني. فلتضِعْ هذه، فكل الماديات على طريق الزوال، ولا تعلو سوى الروح، بهذا وحسب يتشنَّج الصهوني متسائلاً قلقاً: "...مرة أخرى قلق أنا على مجرد وجود الدولة"!
تطن في أذني اللحظة كلمات متقاتلة متسائلة مرتبكة بلا ناظم/ مع أن مصادرها متآلفة متحالفة تجمعها مصلحة من جلوب باشا إلى الأدميرال دايتون إلى الذين ينام على رياشهم، إلى مثقفين ذوي روح حلقية يرون في أنفسهم قدر التفكير نيابة عن الفقراء يقولون: ليس الآن، هذا الحراك فَطيرا- لم يتخمر العجين. ايها السادة والسيدات متى اختمر كل شيء! كل هذا الجّوقُ يطارد الصبية، يضع العيدان في دواليب عجلاتهم الصغيرة كي تتوقف، خوفا منهم، بل خوفاً على أنفسهم، على رغد العيش ومقدار الراتب ودخل المشروع وقص الكوبونات، وخلخلة أداء مجلس الأعمال الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني، وتعطل الفاكسات والكمبيوترات التي تنقل حوارات التطبيع الثقافي، وتنقل تقارير مراقبة المحرضين الثقافيين، ولكن باسماء مستعارة.
وهو الرعب من الإسلام المقاوم، فبقايا من الماركسيين نظًّروا للتسوية كي تقع فوقعت، صفحات لا تُحصى عن وجوب الاعتراف، ضرورة التسوية،، الذين فاوضوا، ورنخوا في نعيم أوسلوا. فانتهوا إلى التخلُّص النظيف من العقيدة تلك، واحتفظوا بكره القومية والإسلام ونسبوا هذا الكره إلى العقيدة وهي من ذلك براء. وتظللاً بهذه المظلًّة باتوا يحذرون من الانتفاضة، ويعتبون على الذين حكموا الناس ولم يقودوهم. وهم أنفسهم ممن سخَّروا ظهورهم/أقلامهم ذات زمن لهذه القيادة، ومدحوها حية وأبَّنوها حال رحيلها. حكمة التاريخ أنه سجلٌّ.
قرأ هؤلاء الماركسية مقلوبة بترجمات غثة، وقرأوا الوطن بعيون التقاسم مع العدو، وعبر مسيرة العرج والعوج والأخطاء ظلوا مأخوذين وممتطين ومركوبين بوهم القدرة في التحليل والقيادة، وهم مثابة هروب إلى الأمام.
هناك من يحبس أنفاس الناس، ولكن ما من أحد يحسب أنفاس الناس أو يتنبأ بفعل الفقراء والمستضعفين متى تتفجر طاقة الروح فيهم. فحساب طاقة الدخل والبورصة والترف والرياش والفذلكة ممكن طبعاً، أما طاقة الروح فهي للروح وحدها. وإذا كان حسابها محالاً فردَّها محال ايضا، وهي تمضي إلى مصيرها، حتى تصل نهاية لا تقلق منها او عليها، لأنها ليست مشروعا تجاريا يقوم على دراسة الجدوى؟ هي انفلات الروح من قيد اللحظة.
ليس الخوف لدى هؤلاء على الوطن، لكن الخوف على فقدان القيادة لآخرين! وحين تصل الأمور إلى هنا، فلا عتب!. فهل نختم بالقول: من لا يطيق الإسلام المقاوم فليقاوم. ومن يرَ الانتفاضة عنفاً لا يلمس نبض الفقراء، وذلك النسغ الجميل الذي يُرضع حاملة/ل الحجر. هناك من يصنع التاريخ، وهناك من يسجله خطأً أو يعيقه، وما أبعد هؤلاء عن أولئك

قمع عربي عابر للقارات

*** قمع عربي عابر للقارات
عبد الباري عطوان

"تعتبر الاجتماعات السنوية لوزراء الداخلية العرب التي تعقد في تونس اكثر الاجتماعات العربية انضباطا ومشاركة، والقرارات التي تنبثق عنها هي الوحيدة التي تحــظى بالتطبيق على ارض الواقع بحماس غير معهود.
جميع الخلافات العربية، العقائدية منها او الحدودية، توضع جانبا اثناء انعقادها، ونجد وزير الداخلية السعودي يجلس جنبا الى جنب مع نظيره العراقي، او المصري مع السوري، ويتبادل الجميع الآراء والمقترحات والمعلومات، فطالما ان المواطن هو الهدف والضحية، وحرياته او حقوقه هي المستهدفة، فلا مجال للخلافات، ولا بد من التعاون.
الاجتماعات السابقة لوزراء الداخلية العرب ركزت على قضية واحدة على درجة كبيرة من الاهمية من وجهة نظرهم، وهي كيفية سيطرة الاجهزة الامنية على وسائل الاعلام التي تغرد خارج السرب الرسمي العربي وتجنح الى الحديث حول قضايا 'محرّمة' مثل الحريات الديمقراطية، والفساد، وقضايا التوريث، و'التحالف المقدس' بين طبقة رجال الاعمال والنخبة الحاكمة.
وزراء الداخلية، وبعد تداول مكثف خرجوا علينا بوثيقة 'تنظيم الاعلام' التي نصت على التصدي للمحطات الفضائية التي تعمل على تقويض الثوابت الرسمية العربية، وتبذر بذور الفتنة، من خلال تطاولها على الحكام، وتجاوز الخطوط الحمر في الحديث عن الفساد، خاصة اذا اقترب من 'عليّة القوم' واوعزوا الى وزراء الاعلام الذين عقدوا اجتماعا في القاهرة قبل عامين بوضع الآليات لتطبيق هذه التوصيات ووضع الآليات والضوابط العقابية للعصاة والمتمردين، مثل اغلاق المكاتب، وسحب تراخيص البث عبر الاقمار الصناعية، ودفع غرامات مالية.
وزراء الاعلام العرب الذين تنص مهامهم الوظيفية، وشروط تعيينهم على تعزيز الرقابة، وخنق الحريات التعبيرية، وحجب المواقع الالكترونية، كانوا اوفياء في التنفيذ الفوري لقرارات نظـــرائهم وزراء الداخلـــية، لانهم لا يتجرأون على معارضتهم، لسبب بسيط لان معظم هؤلاء ينتمون الى الحلقة الاضيق داخل النظام، وبعضهم يعتبر الحاكم الفعلي في بلاده.
محطات تلفزيونية تعرضت للطرد من اقمار صناعية مثل النايل سايت (الحوار والعالم)، ومواقع الكترونية عديدة تعرضت للحجب، واقلام كثيرة منعت من الكتابة، وتعرض اصحابها للاعتقال والتعذيب والاهانات، وما حدث للزميل عبد الحليم قنديل واصحاب المدونات في مصر من اهانات ما زال ماثلا للأذهان.
فالارقام الرسمية تقول ان المملكة العربية السعودية، التي انشأت ادارة خاصة في جامعة الملك عبد العزيز في جدة لمراقبة المواقع الالكترونية، حجبت اكثر من ربع مليون موقع حتى الآن، نسبة كبيرة منها من المواقع السياسية التي تطالب بالحريات واحترام حقوق الانسان.
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الاجتماع الاخير لوزراء الداخلية العرب، وبعد ان اطمأن الى تكميم وسائل الاعلام، وفرض وثيقة تنظيم الاعلام الفضائي، ذهب خطوة ابعد من ذلك، عندما تبنى في ختام اعماله امس في تونس قرارا بمطالبة دول العالم كافة، وخاصة بريطانيا ودول الاتحاد الاوروبي، بعدم التعامل مع المجموعات الارهابية والاشخاص الداعمين للارهاب.
وذهب وزراء الداخلية الذين يرفضون او لا يسمحون لأحد بالتدخل في شؤون بلادهم الداخلية الى حد تنصيب انفسهم وعاظا، بل واعطاء اوامر لهذه الدول 'بابعاد هؤلاء الداعمين للارهاب عن الاراضي الاوروبية، وعدم منحهم اللجوء السياسي او السماح لهم باستغلال مناخ الحرية للضرر بأمن الدول العربية واستقرارها'.
وزراء الداخلية العرب نصّبوا انفسهم اوصياء على الحكومات الغربية، يتدخلون في شؤونها الداخلية، ويــدعون حرصاً على أمنها، وهم في واقع الحال يحرصون على انظمة الحكم في بلادهم واستمرارها، من خلال مطاردة المعارضات العربية حتى في منافيها التي اضطرت للجوء اليها.
وزراء الداخلية العرب يعرفون جيداً، مثلما نعرف نحن ايضاً، انه لا يوجد ارهابيون عرب في بريطانيا واوروبا، وانما توجد معارضات عربية، لجأت الى هذه الدول هرباً من القمع الرسمي وانسداد قنوات التعبير ومصادرة ابسط الحقوق الانسانية والمدنية.
هؤلاء الوزراء يريدون تصدير ثقافة القمع الى الدول الاوروبية، بدلاً من ان يستفيدوا من ثقافة الديمقراطية واحترام حقوق الانسان وقيم القضاء المستقل، التي تعتبر من مكتسبات الانسان الاوروبي الاساسية، وهنا تكمن المأساة.
الارهاب الذي يتحدث عنه وزراء الداخلية ويريدون مقاومته وحصاره، هو نتاج لسياساتهم وممارسات حكوماتهم القمعية ضد المواطنين، فمعظم الحركات العنفية او الارهابية لجأت الى التفجيرات وتبنت الاعمال السرية والعسكرية بسبب فساد الانظمة، وتقاعسها عن القيام بواجباتها الوطنية، ومصادرة الحريات، ونهب المال العام، وغياب العدالة الاجتماعية، واحتكار السلطة من قبل مجموعة صغيرة، تلتف حول الحاكم وتفتك بالمواطنين بسيفه واجهزته غير الخاضعة لاي محاسبة ولا تخضع لاي ضوابط قانونية.
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الحكومات الاوروبية لن تستمع لتمنيات او املاءات وزراء الداخلية العرب، او هكذا نأمل، لان في اوروبا نظاما قضائيا مستقلا وفصلا كاملا بين السلطات، وحتى اذا حدثت بعض التجاوزات فإنها تتم في اطار قانوني، وليس نتيجة لمزاج رئيس الوزراء او وزير الداخلية.
وزراء الداخلية العرب يريدون كتم الاصوات التي تنتقد حكوماتهم الفاسدة في معظمها، عبر وسائل اعلام كسرت حاجز الخوف، وتمردت على ارهاب الانظمة. هذه هي الحقيقة وراء هذه القرارات، وهذا هو هدف الذين يقفون خلفها. فالانظمة العربية باتت تشعر انها لم تعد في مأمن بسبب انفجار ثورة المعلومات، وظهور الاعلام البديل العابر للحدود والقارات، الذي تعجز اموال الانظمة واجهزتها عن مراقبته وحجبه.
كنا نتمنى لو ان وزراء الداخلية العرب اتخذوا قرارات بدعم المرابطين في القدس، المتصدين لعمليات التهـــويد للمقدسات الاسلامية والعربية، ولكن حماية هذه المقدسات قضية ثانوية جداً على جدول اولويات حكوماتهم وانظمتهم، فالمهم هو حماية الانظمة وليس حماية الأعراض والمقدسات.

Al-Jazeera Video: Inside Story - US-Israel ties 'unshakeable'

"A change of tone, not a change of attitude,Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, says US-Israeli relations are good and the bond betwen them "unshakeable", despite the row over Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, and what she last week called an insult to the US. Can the military tip the balance, as the pro-Israel lobby sends a mixed-message? "

Real News Video: Undercover police in Jerusalem protests

Actions in Jerusalem against military closures and settler provocations met with police repression

More at The Real News

"Riots took place all over East Jerusalem this week in protest of settlers threatening to force their way into the Al Aqsa Mosque. As a result, Israeli security forces shut down major areas of the Old City, including the mosque compound to Muslim men under 50. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky spoke to Toufic Haddad, journalist and author of Between the Lines: Israel the Palestinians, and the U.S. "war on terror" about the real reason for these protests. Haddad explains that Israeli colonization over East Jerusalem led to home demolitions, confiscations, and the flourishing of settlements all over the Palestinian Territories. Because these protests are supported by the government, Palestinian protests are systemically repressed, leading to mass arrests, injuries, and sometimes death. Alternative tactics, such as undercover police often lead to the tensions which are expected to rise as the Jerusalem Municipal Police approved another right-wing settler protest for Sunday through the Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan."

'Day of Rage' Engulfs Palestine

By Mel Frykberg

"QALANDIA, West Bank, Mar 17, 2010 (IPS) - On Tuesday tens of hundreds of Palestinians of all political persuasions took to the streets, alleys and sidewalks as widespread rioting and protests spread across East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and into Israel proper.

The worst violence in several years, something of a mini Intifadah or uprising, followed the Islamist movement Hamas calling for a 'Day of Rage' to protest Israel’s continued Judaisation of East Jerusalem and what Palestinians see as an attempt to take over Islamic holy sites.

The numbers rioting were kept relatively low by Israeli military roadblocks and a closure imposed on the West Bank to prevent Palestinians from reaching Jerusalem.....

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers have warned that they will retaliate against any Palestinian rioting by mounting counter-riots. They have also warned that they will attack "Arabs and their property" if they are prevented in the future from entering the Al Aqsa compound.

While a full-scale Intifadah does not appear imminent, further large-scale unrest appears highly possible with some Israeli analysts calling Tuesday’s events an "Intifadah-Light"."

Into the terrifying world of Pakistan's 'disappeared'

In the first of a series of reports from Pakistan, our correspondent meets the wife of one of 8,000 citizens who have gone 'missing' at the hands of the state

By Robert Fisk

"If you want to know how brutally Pakistan treats its people, you should meet Amina Janjua. An intelligent painter and interior designer, she sits on the vast sofa of her living room in Rawalpindi – a room that somehow accentuates her loneliness – scarf wound tightly round her head, serving tea and biscuits like the middle-class woman she is. And although neither a soldier nor a policeman has ever laid a hand on her, she is a victim of her country's cruel oppression. Because, five years ago, her husband Masood became one of Pakistan's "disappeared"....."

Obama won't restrain Israel - he can't

His error has been not to think through the clout of America's pro-Israel lobby

By Rupert Cornwell
The Independent

"All you can say is, we've been here before. "Who the **** does he think he is? Who's the ******* superpower here?" Bill Clinton spluttered in fury to his aides back in 1996. The "he" in question was Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now the Prime Minister of Israel.

Barack Obama, a cooler character than the last Democrat to be president, may not have used quite such salty language about the behaviour of the current Netanyahu government that has so incensed the US. One thing though may safely be predicted. Mr Netanyahu will get away with it....."

Inside the town that will test Obama to the limit

The US President wants the expansion of Ramat Shlomo to stop immediately. But its Jewish residents tell Donald Macintyre that the land was given to them – by God

The Independent

"Ask Rabbi Sam White what he thinks of the global political row over plans to expand the community in which he lives, prays and studies, and he answers bluntly: "I don't see the problem. God gave us the land of Israel." The notion that the location of Ramat Shlomo, on land occupied after the 1967 Six Day War and officially expropriated six years later, might belong to another people is wholly alien to the 32- year-old Salford-born rabbi. "There's no question. It's in the Torah, which says that God gave the land to the Jewish people." [That should settle it! Who can argue with God??]....."

The "Arab" Summit Convenes March 27-28

Appeal to 400 Million Arabs:
Please Don't Flush At The Same Time.....

You Would Cause a Tsunami.

Saudi Arrested in South for Collaborating with Israel


"18/03/2010 The Lebanese daily Annahar reported Thursday that a police unit in the southern town of Marje’youn had arrested Saudi national Jawad Bin Fahed Al-Issa for collaborating with Israel. According to Annahar, the police patrol was on the main road in the town, adjacent to the barbwire separating Lebanon from occupied Palestine, when officers noticed a man hiding behind a rock on the Lebanese side and talking to an Israeli occupation patrol commander on the Palestinian side. The report added that once the man spotted the Lebanese patrol, he took off to the other side as Israeli soldiers were facilitating his access. However, the daily said, Lebanese patrol members managed to arrest him after he destroyed his mobile phone and some of his personal belongings.
Preliminary investigation results showed that the Saudi man had came from Jordan a week ago...."

Obama Stresses US Support of Israel, Condemns Palestinian “Riots”!


"18/03/2010 US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that Israeli plans to build more settler homes in occupied Jerusalem were not helpful for the Middle East peace process, but he said the issue had not led to a crisis with one of the United States' closest allies.

"Israel's one of our closest allies, and we and the Israeli people have a special bond that's not going to go away," Obama told Fox News Channel. "But friends are going to disagree sometimes," he added.

Amid suspicious Arab indifference and Palestinian anger, Israel announced during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden that it planned to build 1,600 more settler homesin Al-Quds, creating a spat with the Obama administration.

The Obama administration had previously described Israel’s decision as an “insult”.....

Obama described the Palestinian reaction to Israel’s opening of a synagogue near the holy Aqsa mosque as ‘riots’ and condemned them.
"Yesterday when there were riots by the Palestinians against a synagogue that had reopened, we condemned them in the same way because what we need right now is both sides to recognize that is in their interests to move this peace process forward," he concluded....."

Al-Jazeera Cartoon

So, This is How the Tennis Match is Supposed to Proceed....
Got it Arabs??

Arabs had no reason to be angry! Duh!

"The land of Israel is not small at all, if only the Arabs will be removed, and if its frontiers would be enlarged a little; to the north all the way to Litani [River in Lebanon], and to the east including the Golan Heights . . . . while the Arabs be transferred to northern Syria and Iraq. . . . From now on we must work out a secret plan based on the removal of the Arabs from here . . . to include it into American political circles. . . . today we have no other alternative. . . . We will not live here with Arabs."
Yosef Weitz, head of the 'transfer committies' wrote in his diary, quoted by Benny Morris in 'The Expulsion Of The Palestinians', page 134.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Palestinian Leprechaun

Here it is, Molly....
Happy St. Patrick Day to All, especially to Carlos Latuff!

Holocaust denial and Nakba denial

"I started to wonder what it would be like for Jews if Holocaust denial were not restricted to marginal figures, as it is now, but were widely accepted in the society in which they lived. This is what it is like for most Palestinians in Western countries, who live in a world dominated by Nakba-denial. I can only imagine what a difference it would make to Palestinian consciousness throughout the world were Israel to proclaim, 'yes, we drove you out, and that was an egregious wrong, and we want to make it up to you.' "

Joseph Levine, History Matters; Boston Review, Sept/Oct 2008.

Israeli educational system : an instrument of memoricide

"When I talk in civics class about the Arab minority, and about its uniqueness in being a majority that became a minority, my students argue and say it's not true that they were a majority. When I go to the history teacher and ask her why the students don't know that in 1947 there was a certain number of Arabs here, and in 1948 there was a different number, she becomes evasive and says it's not part of the curriculum..."

Miriam Darmoni-Sharvit, Israeli civics teacher.

The truth they try to obfuscate :

(Palestinian Government-LIFE magazine)

Zionist lie no.1 ; "There is no such a thing as Palestinian people"
Photo: Fatima Yousif Sayed-Ahmad, a 68-year-old Palestinian refugee, points at her birth certificate which was issued by the Palestinian Government in 1937, in her shop, May 15, 2005 in the Zaytoon refugee camp, located within Gaza City in the Gaza Strip. (Photo By Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Quote of the day

"Through the political debate taking place within Israel, we discover time and again that many Israelis refuse to reconcile themselves to a basic historical truth, which apparently threatens the sense of national justice many of them were raised and educated with: "The Palestinians are natives of this land and have been living here for generations( Actually for 1400 years at the very least-TGIA comment), while the vast majority of Israelis are the descendents (sic) of immigrants who arrived here under various circumstances over the slightly more than past 100 years.

Dror Etkes; Ynetnews, 10 April 2007.(Why can Jewish National Fund land be leased to non-Jewish immigrants, but not to Arabs?)

Nobody - With The Possible Exception Of Hannah Arendt - Could Have Predicted

..that forcibly establishing a Jewish state in Palestine against the wishes of its pre-existing non-Jewish majority - a state which would be surrounded by 200 million Arabs and one billion Muslims who are overwhelmingly sympathetic to the plight of the pre-existing population, and which would require for its continuing existence the repeated involvement of those Western powers who engineered its creation in the first place - would turn out to be a source of perpetual grievance and escalating instability that threatens regional war involving the countries of the entire Mid East and far beyond...
"In ‘Zionism Reconsidered’, she (Arendt) calls ‘absurd’ the idea of setting up a Jewish state in a ‘sphere of interest’ of the superpowers. Such a state would suffer under the ‘delusion of nationhood’: ‘Only folly could dictate a policy which trusts a distant imperial power for protection, while alienating the goodwill of neighbours.’ On the one hand, she is clearly anxious to find ways for Israel/Palestine to survive; on the other, she predicts that the foundations proposed for the polity will result in ruin. ‘If the Jewish commonwealth is obtained in the near future . . . it will be due to the political assistance of American Jews,’ she writes. ‘But if the Jewish commonwealth is proclaimed against the will of the Arabs and without the support of the Mediterranean peoples, not only financial help but political support will be necessary for a long time to come. And that may turn out to be very troublesome indeed for Jews in this country, who after all have no power to direct the political destinies of the Near East.’

In 1948, after the UN had sanctioned the state of Israel, Arendt predicted that ‘even if the Jews were to win the war [of independence], its end would find the . . . achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed . . . The “victorious” Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded inside ever threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defence to a degree that would submerge all other interests and activities.’ She stated once again that partition could not work, and that the best solution would be a ‘federated state’. Such a federation, in her view, ‘would have the advantage of preventing the establishment of sovereignty whose only sovereign right would be to commit suicide.’"

(via Lawrence of Cyberia)

Do You Want a Big Laugh? Read This.....

Dahlan to Hamas: Join forces against Israel

"Fatah strongman, considered bitter enemy of organization controlling Gaza, calls for joint struggle in order to 'defend the holy sites, in light of the attack on Jerusalem'. Negotiations with Israel ended before they even began, he adds....."

Click on cartoon by Emad Hajjaj to enlarge.

Mariam Said: I beg to differ

A Good Comment by Angry Arab

"Edward's thinking about the conflict evolved over the years. In the end, no matter what the solution is, both peoples will have to live together. To do so we need to talk to the enemy and to break the wall that separates us. To him the WEDO was an experiment that broke down barriers of hatred and allowed the participants to get to know the other. It was also an educational project where music was taught on a sophisticated level to musicians who had talent. Today, it remains a humanistic endeavor whose results will bear fruit in the future." Yes, Mariam. Edward's views evolved over the years: they became more radical. I remember in New York City in 1993 after he attended my debate with Judith Miller when we were walking outside, he told me: I have changed. I am now leaning more toward your side and the rejectionists against the two-state solution, or words to that effect. And I beg to differ: this orchestra is indeed a form of normalization. And let us not forget that Israeli musicians, as nice as they may look on the stage playing the violin or dirbakkah or whatever, they also serve in the Israeli occupation army. And it is doubly bad: the second reason is that this piano player is an awful human being whose stances, especially in the war on Gaza, have basically whitewashed the Israeli war crimes. Don't get me wrong: after Palestine is liberated, Barenboim can play with the Palestinian National Orchestra somewhere in the new Palestinian state that will allow all religions and factions to exist but without occupation or usurpation. Also, Mariam: I am afraid that your words above sound almost exactly like the words of Anwar Sadat when he was justifying his trip to Jerusalem. "

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

This poll asks:

Do you consider the current rift between the US and Israel as divergence of their positions?

With over 1,500 responding, 93% said no.

Video: Dozens of Palestinians injured in Al-Quds clashes

Report: Petraeus Warns Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mullen That Israel Is Jeopardizing U.S. Security Interests

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

"Veteran military and foreign affairs analyst and author Mark Perry reports that CENTCOM Commander General David Petraeus dispatched a team of senior military officers in January to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Perry reports that the briefers told Mullen, that “Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region.”....."

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinian anger spills onto East Jerusalem streets

"Palestinian protesters have flooded into East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank to vent their anger over the restoration of a historic synagogue.

They claim Israel's work is endangering the al-Aqsa mosque - one of their most important sites.

Israel's annexing of two other holy sites last month plans to build more Jewish settlement homes have further angered Palestinians.

Sherine Tadros reports from occupied East Jerusalem."

Brazil steps between Israel and Iran

By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

"Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva this week made the first official visit by a Brazilian president to Israel. Brazil is emerging as a potential "bridge" between Iran and those countries that seek to punish Tehran over its nuclear program. Lula stepping into this arena is a further instance of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) acting as a new rival power to an increasingly disoriented US, as well as to Washington's ally, Israel....

The BRICs also know that the US and Iran are able to collaborate on thorny dossiers - such as over Afghanistan.

That leaves the strategic agenda of the proverbial elephant in the room - Israel - on the table. So it's time for the BRICs to call Israel's bluff.

If the Netanyahu government in Israel can humiliate both Obama and Biden on expanded Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, it's fair to assume it could ignore the pleas of the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen, who has warned that an attack on Iran would be a "big, big, big problem for all of us".

Israel (as well as Washington) may simply want regime change in Iran by any means necessary. Israel may go nuclear - using bunker-busting tactical nukes to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities. Israel may be ready to unleash preventive war - a staple of Israeli policy fully adopted by the George W Bush administration. And Israel certainly counts on the US for logistical and political support......"

Documentary: "Nahr al-Bared: Checkpoints and more"

Video, a-films, 16 March 2010

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Israeli Raids Target Children

By Nora Barrows-Friedman

"SILWAN, EAST JERUSALEM, Mar 16, 2010 (IPS) - Three thousand heavily armed Israeli security service forces locked down large parts of the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday, as battalions of police fired rounds of tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian protesters in the occupied eastern part of the city. Nearly 40 Palestinians were wounded and treated at nearby hospitals, as 25 were arrested during intense clashes.....

Clashes took place in several areas of East Jerusalem, including Shu'afat refugee camp, Wadi Joz and Silwan. This comes on the heels of accelerated attacks by Israeli forces and Jewish settlers inside Silwan in particular, directed towards the community's youngest and most vulnerable population. Since January, at least 33 children from the area have been arrested, detained and interrogated by Israeli forces as home demolitions and settler takeovers continue apace.....

The Netanyahu administration, for its part, announced that it will not backpedal on its plans to continue settlement expansion in occupied East Jerusalem. "These policies of arresting and interrogating Palestinian children are meant to break the spirit of the child and their families," Hiyam Odeh says. "But we are a strong community. We will remain steadfast, and we will not leave our homes." "

WPost Blames Obama First, on Israel

By Robert Parry
March 16, 2010

"The U.S. government is in a clash with Israel over Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, housing construction that the Obama administration sees as a threat to renewed peace talks – and guess which side the Washington Post’s neoconservative editorial page is taking?

In a phrase that the neocons used in the 1980s to demonize Americans who criticized Ronald Reagan’s bloody policies in Central America, it could be said that the Post’s editorial writers are “blaming America first” – and largely taking the side of Israel......"

Yediot Ahronot exposes Israeli police lies

(Click the photo to enlarge)

Israeli police car runs over a youth in Jerusalem, arrest him for protesting and take him to interrogation. They later denied responsiblity for the youngsters injuries (a badly broken foot) accusing another car driven by an...ARAB!!. Sadly for them a photographer of the daily Yediot Ahronot was there. The paper published the photos exposing the congenital liars...

"Who really ran over the 14-year-old youth during the demonstrations that took place on Friday in Jerusalem’s Ras el-Amud neighborhood? The police contend that he was hit by a “white Subaru, evidently driven by an Arab,” but the photos shot by Yedioth Ahronoth photographer Atta Awisat expose the truth: the youth is lying underneath the tires of a police vehicle."
(Via Coteret)
BTW, how many Israeli policemen does it take to arrest a child? Or change a bulb for that matter?

Rachel Corrie's Memory, Israel's Image

By Neve Gordon
Palestine Chronicle

"......When social justice activists like Rachel Corrie are branded terrorists and international human rights law becomes the enemy of the state--all in the name of winning the narrative battle--then it becomes absolutely clear that something is terribly wrong. As Jews around the world come together to celebrate Passover, the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery and the beginning of a life of freedom, they should keep in mind Rachel's last words to her mother: "I think freedom for Palestine could be an incredible source of hope to people struggling all over the world. I think it could also be an incredible inspiration to Arab people in the Middle East, who are struggling under undemocratic regimes which the US supports...." As Jews sit at the Passover table this year, they should take Rachel Corrie's words to heart. "

Zionism and Fascism...Brothers in arms!

British skinheads of the "English Defence League" display the Israeli flag at a rally in Birmingham, 5 Sep 2009,

Israel vs. America: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

The Biden ambush

by Justin Raimondo, March 17, 2010

"The brouhaha over what Hillary Clinton said was Israel’s calculated "insult" to the United States is escalating into what many characterize as a "crisis" in US-Israeli relations, a turning point in which the terms of the "special relationship" are about to undergo a major change. When Joe Biden berated his hosts for making the settlements announcement as he arrived on Israeli soil, it was as if a light bulb went off over his head:

"This is starting to get dangerous for us," Biden is reported to have said. "What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.".......

General Petraeus is concerned with the safety of his troops, and so it was the military that took the lead in this instance. Unfortunately, this is one battle that the politicians are none too eager to fight, and my guess is that this crisis will pass – although of course it will continue to bubble underground, periodically coming to the surface at key junctures, reminding our "leaders" that reality always has the last word.

Military and strategic imperatives demand a rupture, or at least a radical divergence, between the US and Israel: political reality forbids it. As the old song puts it: something’s gotta give. "